The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


Research Projects

Project: Illuminating microbial “dark matter” for antibiotic discovery

Pidot group

The discovery of new antibiotics to combat the rising tide of antibiotic resistant bacteria has been hampered by the rediscovery of commonly encountered antibiotic compounds from soil bacteria. Genomics, however, has shown us that the well of antimicrobials is not yet dry and there are many more potential compounds left to find. To do this, however, new approaches are required. Recently, the incubation of different bacteria in co-culture or growth in the presence of sub-inhibitory concentrations of antibiotics has been shown to induce antibiotic production. This project will investigate the potential for antimicrobial production through co-culturing and induction across a range of actinomycete bacteria, testing for their ability to inhibit hospital superbugs, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant enterococci. Students taking on this project will gain skills across the areas of genomics, molecular biology, biochemistry and mass spectrometry. 

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Dr Sacha Pidot

Project Co-supervisor

Professor Tim Stinear

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

Pidot group

3 vacancies

Antimicrobial Resistance
Cross Cutting Disciplines
Discovery Research
Computational Science and Genomics

The Pidot group is a multi-disciplinary team that works across microbiology, genomics and biological chemistry to identify new antimicrobials and investigate their biosynthesis. While bacteria can be killed by antibiotics, many bacteria are also adept at producing antimicrobials, especially those from the actinomycete family. We primarily study human pathogenic actinomycetes (Nocardia and Mycobacterium, among others), which have not been well investigated previously and represent a source of untapped antibiotic potential. Our group uses a range of techniques from DNA sequencing to molecular biology through to mass spectrometry to identify and study the next generation of antimicrobial candidates.

Pidot group Current Projects